Egypt’s El-Sisi defends military against corruption claims

Egypt’s president is refuting corruption allegations raised by a businessman about the country’s military. (File/AP)
Updated 14 September 2019

Egypt’s El-Sisi defends military against corruption claims

  • El-Sisi said Saturday that allegations of embezzlement and misuse of public funds in building new presidential palaces are “sheer lies and defamation”
  • El-Sisi was responding to claims by contractor Mohammed Ali who said he worked for the military for 15 years

CAIRO: Egypt’s president is refuting corruption allegations raised by a businessman about the country’s military in a series of recorded testimonials that went viral on social media.
Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said Saturday that allegations of embezzlement and misuse of public funds in building new presidential palaces are “sheer lies and defamation.”
He said: “I’ve built presidential palaces and I will continue to do so. I am building a new country. ... All of this is not mine. It’s Egypt’s.”
El-Sisi was responding to claims by contractor Mohammed Ali, who said he worked for the military for 15 years, alleging massive spending, abuse by authorities and misuse of public funds.
He has denied the allegations without elaborating. He has called the claims against the military an attempt to topple Egypt.


Iraq prudent over taking foreign Daesh terrorists

Updated 18 October 2019

Iraq prudent over taking foreign Daesh terrorists

  • European states have been trying to fast-track a plan to move thousands of foreign Daesh militants out of Syrian prison camps and into Iraq

BAGHDAD: Iraqi officials appeared cautious on Thursday after holding talks with European powers this week aimed at accelerating efforts to create a judicial framework that would enable terrorists being held in Syria to face trial in Iraq.

European states have been trying to fast-track a plan to move thousands of foreign Daesh militants out of Syrian prison camps and into Iraq, after the Turkish offensive in northern Syria raised the risk of radicals escaping or returning home, diplomats and officials said.

Legal experts from Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden have been in Baghdad this week for technical talks, and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was in Iraq on Thursday to discuss the issue with the Iraqi government and Kurdish leaders. Speaking at a news conference with Le Drian, Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Al-Hakim said his government’s priority was to bring back Iraqi fighters and their families “if possible.”

FASTFACT

European states have been trying to fast-track a plan to move thousands of foreign Daesh militants out of Syrian prison camps and into Iraq, after the Turkish offensive in northern Syria raised the risk of radicals escaping or returning home.

“With regard (to) foreign fighters ... these countries must take necessary and appropriate measures to try these people,” he said. 

Europeans comprise a fifth of around 10,000 Daesh fighters held captive in Syria by Kurdish militias which are under heavy attack by Turkish forces. If the militias redeploy prison guards to the front line, there is a risk of jail-breaks.

Europe does not want to try its Daesh nationals at home, fearing a public backlash, difficulties in collating evidence against them, and risks of renewed attacks from militants on European soil.